China marks 60th anniversary of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region

World Today

Xinjiang on Thursday marked the 60th anniversary of its founding as an autonomous region. People celebrate the event in People’s Square in the capital Urumqi on Thursday. (CFP)

Xinjiang on Thursday marked the 60th anniversary of its founding as an autonomous region. Some 3,000 people took part in a traditional performance on the People’s Square in the capital of Urumqi on Thursday morning, prior to a conference at the People’s Hall.

Addressing the conference, China’s top political adviser Yu Zhengsheng, who is leading a 69-member central government delegation, outlined the priorities for developing the region going forward.

Yu, who is the chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said that the autonomous region has made remarkable achievements since it was founded under the leadership of the central government.

He added that the focus now is on continuing those efforts and maintaining stability in the region.

“We must be aware of the serious challenges to long-term stability in Xinjiang and focus our efforts on combating violent terrorist activities at this stage,” Yu said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Yu met with senior military officers, and highlighted the role that the military had played in combatting separatism, terrorism, and extremism in the region. Speaking at the conference, he reiterated the need to continue the fight against those forces.

“The three forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism, especially violent terrorism, is the biggest danger to Xinjiang, and the common enemy of people of all groups. We must take a firm fist to strike proactively, and resolutely crack down on violent terrorist activities according to the law, and unwaveringly fight against the three forces,” said Yu.

Meanwhile, Vice Premier Liu Yandong presented a congratulatory message from the central government, saying that all the ethnic groups in Xinjiang are united like the seeds of a pomegranate.

Located in the northwest of the country, the region contains abundant oil reserves and is one of China’s largest natural gas-producing areas. Modern industries, logistics and tourism are the new driving forces of the region’s economy.

The Party Secretary of the region, Zhang Chunxian, has highlighted that Xinjiang is looking to act as a “core area” of the Silk Road Economic Belt. The region could serve as a center of finance, communications, health, trade and logistics, culture and education, Zhang said.

Story by CCTV News